Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Heavy Seas Loose Cannon Hop³ Ale

Brewery: Clipper City Brewing Co.
Location: Baltimore, MD
Style: IPA
Brewery Website
Rating: B+

In my glass today is the Loose Cannon Hop³ Ale from Clipper City's Heavy Seas line of big beers. As one can imagine from the name, this is a big American-style IPA. The Loose Cannon pours with a short, off-white bubbly head. The beer is a hazy gold with some light amber hues. The nose screams "Cascade!", as the hops aroma asserts itself quite boldly. It's sort of like getting smashed in the face with a grapefruit, James Cagney style. In a good way.

The initial flavor is big, fruity hops, although some bready malt notes do peek through the haze. The Loose Cannon has some slight residual sweetness. There is a moderate level of bitterness, but overall the bite is rather mild for such a heavily hopped ale. The hops flavors run the gamut from herbal/fresh-cut grass notes, to a hint of juniper, and of course the big citrus Cascade notes are present in spades. I found the carbonation level was a bit lacking, leading to a slightly flat mouthfeel. The Loose Cannon has a smooth finish that is balanced between aromatic and bitter hops with a hint of wheaty malt.

Clipper City continues to put out some really good beer under their Heavy Seas line. The Loose Cannon is a well-rounded IPA with lots of hops flavor. I did find myself wanting a bit stronger kick of bitterness as counterbalance to the aromatic hops, but overall this is a very enjoyable IPA.

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